If you are a regular Facebook user you are probably aware, and have even been invited to join, at least one Facebook Group. Maybe you’ve even been added to a Facebook Group without your permission, but that’s another story! Facebook Groups are a great way to filter through the hordes of people you are connected to, and laser in on like-minded individuals who have the same interests and goals as you. Another plus is that Facebook Groups can be completely private, which is why they are becoming very popular for coaching groups and membership communities in lieu of trying to maintain a forum for their group. Privacy settings can be set to include ONLY those people you want in the group and are by invitation only, while others may be open to anyone. It’s your group, so it’s your choice!
But there’s more to a Facebook Group than just rallying the troops and giving your group a catchy name. Careful and mindful maintenance and monitoring must occur so your private oasis doesn’t turn into the Wild Wild West.
- Spend time encouraging interaction with group members. Like a Facebook Page, you can post open-ended questions, links, and even videos. The biggest impact in your group, however, will come from conversations with people.
- Have Guidelines and Rules: You don’t need an endless list of rules and regs., but there still needs to be parameters and boundaries in place so it doesn’t turn into a selling free-for-all. Do you allow marketing or selling in your group? Maybe you do on a specific day of the week; maybe you don’t at all. It’s the little things like this you need to establish up front.
- Utilize the “Files” tab in your Facebook Group by adding “perks” like insider tips, links and apps, a roster of everyone’s website and social media links, and other things that promote sharing and trust.
Most importantly, as the Group founder, be present. If your group is a closed group for group coaching, a membership community or made up of a group of students taking a course you offer and members are not getting their questions answered, they will fade away and stop participating. If it’s more of an open group where members can invite others and just aren’t feeling the “love,” they aren’t likely to participate or invite new people to join the group. The whole point to a group is to elicit participation from its members as a community, which requires a little bit of tender-loving care on the part of the group owner. Just remember… the bigger the group the more care is needed.